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Private Charity or Public Taxes?

Will the scalawags get rich and the poor remain poor?

by Lyle Clapper (October 17, 2005)

(Note: Lyle is the CEO of Clapper Communications, publisher of Crafts N Things and other industry-related magazines. He virtually grew up in the industry his parents launched the company with the kids' craft magazine, Pack O Fun, more than 50 years ago.)

Does anyone ever think about numbers cited for government expenditures? $250 billion for Katrina relief:

Assuming a million people were affected, that's $250,000 per person (not families ... persons!) While I'm sure more than that were affected, a small fraction suffered that kind of loss. So where is the money going?

For the rest of the population, that's nearly $1,000 per person. Of course not everyone pays taxes, so it's much more than that for taxpayers. How 'bout thinking of it as $4,000 per family of four. Where does this come from? The kids college fund?

I vote NO to tax supported relief. This is a job for charity ... deductible charity. When tax dollars are used for charitable purposes, scalawags get rich and the poor remain poor. No one is entitled to someone else's money ... regardless of their misfortune. When it's done with tax dollars, it's done largely at the expense of the middle class.

I further vote YES to giving to the poor souls who have suffered the wrath of Katrina. In November I'll be there with Habitat for Humanity or another similar organization with a hammer and saw. I'll be joined by others including contractors and well equipped experts who want their efforts to be effective. I'll bring money to buy the materials we need. I'll meet the people I'm helping and share the experience with them. We'll all be richer.

Reminds me of a trip I took nearly four years ago to NYC [after 9/11] when we brought 170,000 angels to the people of New York from crafters all over the world. The pols and troops showed their true colors:

The pols were contemptible, seizing every opportunity to show their sober face to the public (voters) and assure them that they had everything they needed "The situation was well under control."

The troops were beautiful, showing a side of New Yorkers I had never seen. Every one was exhausted from the incredible effort required, and wishing the pols would quit blocking the flow of badly needed materials to them. Most of all, they were kind and loving and expressed deep heartfelt appreciation for all the gifts we had brought.

(Note: To read previous Kate's Collage columns, click on the titles in the right-hand column. To comment on this or any industry or national issue, email CLN at mike@clnonline.com.)

xxx

 

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